page 2 9/22/46
This continues the letter started yesterday from Grandpa after his return from vacation on the Island. He has been recounting some of the highlights, the biggest being his 62nd birthday.
Spurred on by the occasion I decided to dash off a bit of verse and send it to each of you on a postal but found that the message was too long to get on the half of the picture postcard devoted to correspondence, so decided to wait and send it later. While it’s nothing to rave about, I’ll send it on for what it is worth. I didn’t have my birthday date book with me and couldn’t recall the year, so instead of making it 62 as it should have been, being ever conservative, I added another year on for good luck, hence the 63 to rhyme with “tree”. Anyway, here it is:
A BIRTHDAY GREETING FROM DAD
The swift years tick by and Life’s gong strikes the hour
For me, it rings sixty-three
And today as I count o’er the gifts of great price
That hang from my family tree,
I find there a daughter and five worthy sons,
Five grand-children, Marian, Chiche and Jean.
(They’re really ALL “grand” children — babies or no,
If you really see just what I mean.)
Yes, I’m wealthy today in the world’s choicest gifts
And these riches, dear children of mine,
shall we hope, will continue to ever increase
And be with me for quite a long time.
Daniel Beck Guion (at left) surveying an American cemetery in Europe
(When Dan was discharged, while still in France, he was hired as a civilian contractor by the Army to survey American cemeteries throughout Europe.)
Now let’s get to some real interesting news. A letter from Dan, Versailles, 20 Aug., Says: Here is a letter that should gladden your eyes — we are planning to stage a sort of D-day in November if nothing unusual occurs to prevent it. Private shipping is still uncertain but it seems quite possible that we three can travel together by gov’t. transport leaving Bremerhaven sometime in November. My year’s contract expires on Oct. 16th but Arla must be six months of age before she can sail — hence there is a lapse of about three weeks after my contract expires before we can sail.
There are a few things I should like to have you send me tout de suite before I leave in order to straighten out my European affairs. (1) about 40 cartons of cigarettes (preferably in lots of 10 or less for post office reasons) (2) stocking protectors larger than those which you sent (those we received were #10). That’s all I can think of right now.
Chiche’s watch arrived safely and threw her into transports of delight. I received the slacks and undershirts and sox. The electric iron was both a wonderful surprise and a sad disappointment — it has all the virtues except one — both of us thought of the voltage but it seems that 1000 watts is a bit too much for the electrical wiring of the house at Calais. We blew out several fuses trying to get results. Of course we shall bring it back home with us in the fall (the iron, not the blown fuse).
Our survey crew finished the two cemeteries in Holland and next we shall go again to Normandy. Arla is getting along famously. She is putting on weight more than satisfactorily and seems to have won over the hearts of all who know her. And I am more homesick than ever! Dan
Another from Normandie, Sept. 9 that says: Just a brief note to remind you that will be seeing you soon — and that I can hardly wait. I am back to my original stamping grounds of two years ago, Isigny, Carenton, Cherbburg, etc. We are surveying two more of the cemeteries in this area. I have not heard from Chiche and Arla since leaving Calais a week ago but mail service to Normandie is not particularly gratifying. So long for now. Dan
Tomorrow and Thursday, I’ll continue this letter from Grandpa. On Friday, another letter from Grandpa to his two still-absent ones.